Last year’s last-minute book drive for a class in a low-income school in New Orleans was such a success — all the books on the teacher’s list were purchased within 90 minutes! — I decided to make it an annual event. This year’s holiday book drive is much more ambitious than last year’s — we have 3 teachers participating, with over 180 students all together, humbly requesting 215 books — and I’m hopeful we can reach the goal and purchase one book for every kid or, at the very least, get some new books for each classroom’s library. Keep reading to learn more about the participating classes, students, and teachers, and follow the links to their respective Amazon gift registries where you can purchase books (many as inexpensive as $3) if you’re able to. Thank you so much for your generosity!
Vanessa W. teaches at an elementary school in Columbus, Mississippi that is 98% African American and 95% low income. She writes: “I am a very proud third-grade teacher. I have been teaching third here for 14 years now, and it is my dream job. I often tell people that I could do it for free if I had to. I love what I do and I love my students that much. There is no other job that could bring me the satisfaction that I get from being in the classroom every day. There is so much I would like to do for my students around the holidays. In the past, I have gotten every child a goodie bag or a small gift and some sort of healthy snack. This is just so they will have something for the holidays. Many of them don’t, but I know you know this happens. As class sizes increase and my budget gets tighter, it’s becoming more and more difficult to do that. It would be awesome if you could help me get books to my kids for the holidays!”
UPDATE: Vanessa’s registry has been 100% fulfilled! All of her students will receive books this Christmas courtesy of DW readers!! Thank you for your contribution. If you’d still like to contribute to the book drive, please visit the two registries below.
Ogo A. is a lawyer (and daily DW reader!) who was drafted by an alternate route teaching program and is in her first year of teaching middle school language arts at a Title 1, low income school in Baltimore. She teaches four classes, the smallest of which has 17 students, and would be very grateful to get enough books for all of her students to each take one home as a holiday gift. Even if that goal isn’t met, she would be thrilled just to get enough books to start a classroom library and help pique her students’ interest in reading.
Here is Ogo’s book registry for her middle-schoolers. Please consider making a purchase!
Johanna J. is a fifth-grade science and literacy teacher at a rural, low income, Title 1 school in eastern North Carolina. She writes: “Many of our students do not yet read on grade level and it’s a constant struggle to get them all interested in reading – new books are the best way to do this! Our library hasn’t been updated in the last five years due to funding. I purchase books kids want to read for our classroom lending library as a reward for great behavior and high growth in assessment scores. I wish I could afford to buy books for every child!”
UPDATE: Johanna’s registry has been 100% fulfilled! All of her students will receive books this Christmas courtesy of DW readers!! Thank you for your contribution. If you’d still like to contribute to the book drive, please visit the Ogo’s registry listed above.